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How To Run A Contest On Your Instagram Account

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Instagram contests are a sure fire way to increase engagement, likes and follows. Follow these steps to see a boost in your social network.

You have an Instagram account for your business and you’re thinking of ways to increase the number of followers. Why not create a contest giveaway, offering a lucky winner one of your products or services?
A study by Tailwind found that accounts promoting contests on Instagram saw a 70 % boost in followers, compared to those who did not share contests. What’s more, engagement increased megafold too, with 3.5x more likes and 64x more comments.

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Instagram Contests Grow Audiences by 70%

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Pet Food Supplier Runs Instagram Contest

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Instagram’s Algorithm Loves Contests

How do contests attract so many IG users? The Instagram algorithm takes notice of increased engagement on your post. With more likes, comments, tags and hashtags, Instagram will pick up on your increased activity and share your post to a wider audience, moving it higher to the top of Instagram Search and Homepage.

Dog Treat Contest Helped Pet Supplier Grow Instagram Exponentially

SNAP recently ran a contest on pet food supplier, Canadian Natural Treats’, Instagram account and the results were impressive. SNAP began an IG account of CNT in preparation for the 2018 holiday rush, and posted a contest for entrants to win one of CNT’s exclusive Torero Chicken Stogie snacks. To enter the contest IGers had to follow three steps: like the photo, tag a friend who’d love the gift, and start following @canadian_natural_treats.

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After five days the contest ended with:

  • 158 new followers,
  • 278 profile visits, and
  • 16 website visits.

This is compared to CNT’s average 40 likes and 6 comments per post. SNAP’s goal was to gain 50% more followers, which we accomplished. Safe it to say the contest was very successful.

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Creating An Instagram Contest Of Your Own

Follow the below steps to create a contest of your own that will help your business succeed with increased growth in awareness and engagement. You can also contact us and we’ll be happy to plan a contest for you. Message us for rates.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1590687348677{padding-top: 50px !important;}”][vc_column css=”.vc_custom_1590687330570{padding-right: 20px !important;}”][vc_column_text]

1. Choose What Your Objective Is For The Contest

Is it to gain more followers? Increase engagement? Brand awareness?  Website clicks? Email subscriptions? The contest guidelines should be relative to your goals. Some ideas for contest types include:

  • Like to win
  • Comment to win
  • Follow to win
  • Tag to win
  • Create a caption for a photo to win
  • Share a photo/video to win
  • Share a hashtag to win

2. Pick A Prize That’s Worthwhile And Relevant

Create a contest of your own by choosing a prize that would be desirable for current and new followers alike. This is a perfect opportunity to reach people within your marketing demographic. Rather than picking a prize anyone would like, pick one that would attract potential customers. CNT sells dog treats and posts photos of the dogs that eat their treats. Followers are dog lovers and will expect a prize to be dog accessory or food related.

3. Include Contest Rules and Regulations

In your caption state the rules clearly to your entrants. Explain requirements for contest entry. Based on the prize, must entrants be 21+ or 18+? If you need to ship the prize, do entrants need to live within your country or can it be global? In CNT’s case, the Torero gift package included food, and based on Canadian border rules, meant the prize could only be shipped within Canada. Here are some other rules to consider:

  • Details of the promoting brand, partners and sponsors
  • A clear start and end date
  • How many winners you plan to have
  • Prize or prizes to be awarded and the details of how will be delivered
  • Privacy and GDPR rules
  • When you will announce the winner and how the winner will be informed
  • It must be acknowledged that the promotion is in no way affiliated with or sponsored by Instagram

Read Instagram’s promotion guidelines to comply with all rules.

4.Choose a photo that’s attractive and with good lighting

If you’re going to put time and effort into a contest that may be seen by thousands, invest in choosing photos or videos with high definition and good lighting. The ideal photo resolution for Instagram recommends 1080 px by 1080 px, but the max resolution can be uploaded at 2048 px by 2048 px. Invest in a professional photographer, or take photos with in a bright setting, with frontal and back lighting.

5. Share Your Contest Widely And Across Multiple Channels

Posting your contest will garner interest but it is important to share your contest widely through multiple channels to broaden your reach and find new audiences.
Start by adding hashtags that promote contests such as #contest #giveaway #contestgiveaway #contestalert #contestentry #sweepstakes #[yourbrand]sweepstakes #winitwednesday #competition #win #[yourbrand]win
Share your contest on your other social media channels, on your website, blog, ask your friends and family to share. Post it on your Instagram Story and add hashtags, add your contest story as a highlight on your account profile, and include a description of the contest in your profile. Send out reminders ahead of deadline.

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6. Pick winners and reward participants

When you choose your winner pick at random from the list of entrants. Update your contest post that the winner has been picked and tag their account, mentioning you will DM them for shipment info. Ask if they wouldn’t mind sending a photo of their winnings and you will share it on your profile. CNT asked Torero winner @leonardo.da.corgi to share a photo of their dog with their prize, which they were more than happy to do so!

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Pet Food Contest Winner

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7. Evaluate your contest and measure success

Throughout the contest follow the number of likes, comments, shares, saves, and followers. You can find this information in your insights tab, found at the top left of your profile account. Enter in a spreadsheet what the results were of the contest and base it on the cost and time of your promotion. Ask these questions and then decide whether investing in another contest is right for your business.

  • Did the contest post become your most liked post on your profile?
  • Did the contest post become the post most commented on?
  • How many followers did you gain from this contest alone?
  • Did you see an increase in website clicks or blog clicks or emails/phone calls during this period?
  • How many followers have continued to follow you post-contest?
  • Is there an increase in engagement post-contest?

Have we missed anything? If you’ve shared a contest, what insights do you have from your experience? Please post below and share any tips we may have missed.
Need help with your own social media presence? SNAP Social Media Strategies can provide smart solutions for  your burgeoning online brand. Contact us for rates.


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